Archive

Quotes

A riot is at bottom the language of the unheard.

—Martin Luther King Jr., c. 1967

My people and I have come to an agreement that satisfies us both. They are to say what they please, and I am to do what I please.

—Frederick the Great, c. 1770

Politics, n. A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. The conduct of public affairs for private advantage.

—Ambrose Bierce, 1906

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

—H.L. Mencken, 1921

If you must take care that your opinions do not differ in the least from those of the person with whom you are talking, you might just as well be alone.

—Yoshida Kenko, c. 1330

There is no method by which men can be both free and equal.

—Walter Bagehot, 1863

The U.S. presidency is a Tudor monarchy plus telephones.

—Anthony Burgess, 1972

He may be a patriot for Austria, but the question is whether he is a patriot for me.

—Emperor Francis Joseph, c. 1850

Out of the crooked timber of humanity no straight thing was ever made.

—Immanuel Kant, 1784

The affairs of the world are no more than so much trickery, and a man who toils for money or honor or whatever else in deference to the wishes of others, rather than because his own desire or needs lead him to do so, will always be a fool.

—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 1774

A real leader is somebody who can help us overcome the limitations of our own individual laziness and selfishness and weakness and fear and get us to do better, harder things than we can get ourselves to do on our own.

—David Foster Wallace, 2000

The vice presidency isn’t worth a pitcher of warm piss.

—John Nance Garner, c. 1967

Whether for good or evil, it is sadly inevitable that all political leadership requires the artifices of theatrical illusion. In the politics of a democracy, the shortest distance between two points is often a crooked line.

—Arthur Miller, 2001